Back to the Gym! And other thoughts...

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So, an update since last time I hopped on here... I had gone to a convention a few weeks back and upon returning home, started getting a massive headache. Nothing took care of it, and it'd just vary between making me want to cry, to just being a dull headache. Had first thought maybe I got COVID, but after getting tested then, the urgent care doctor suspected it was allergies. They suggested I take allergy medication - and nothing worked. Saw my regular doctor finally a few days later, one week since the onset and... I have hypertension! Joy. Also at 315lbs, the worst I've been. So, now indefinitely on blood pressure medication. I plan to put a stop to that. One day.

By chance, talking with some friends, the topic of workout buddies came up - something I gave up on, after asking around and people constantly just... blew me off or didn't think I wanted to go to the gym, so they wouldn't actually answer. Suddenly, people are asking about going together. Huh. Good timing at least! Got the Black Card membership with Planet Fitness and I've got two people that come with me, one on one day, one on the other. It's surreal, but I'll take what I can get!

I'm also taking this as the kick in the pants I've needed to finally make bigger changes. I need to double-down on not eating so much. Stop halfway, see if I'm really hungry and if not, save what I eat for later. Simple as that.

That said, as someone that isn't able to reliably make food at home, I frequently order things - meals, canned stuff, fast food (bleh).

Can anyone recommend food options for those in my position that can help reduce the amount of sodium I'm consuming? Definitely going to start leaning into the salads more, lighter dressings or less salty dressings, period but as much as I love salad, I know I'm going to want other things. Any suggestions?
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  • sailermatt415
    sailermatt415 Posts: 1 Member
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    Are you at home when you order things? It's not ideal, but you can keep healthy/ small portion frozen meals. Additionally, you can bake chicken and it will keep in the fridge for a few days-- eat those any time you're hungry.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
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    Good for you for seeing the need to change your life around and making those changes!
    I remember my dad suffering terrible headaches before they diagnosed him with high blood pressure. It was stress for him. :/

    Anyways, I hate to cook, for lots of reasons. :) I do very simple things like stir-fry chicken to use in wraps or on salads. I do the same with lots of veggies to also use in wraps as well as omelets. Or I'll buy deli turkey breast for wraps. I use a lot of spinach, onions, mushrooms, green or red peppers, tomatoes. I eat a little bit of fruit, mostly citrus throughout the winter, then turn to berries as they come into season. One thing I eat a lot of is plain nonfat yogurt that I doctor up with SF syrup. I sub lite bread at 40 cals. a slice and occasionally have grilled cheese or grilled tuna with spinach.

    I'll admit my diet lacks variety but it's healthy, filling, and within my calorie allotment. I still indulge, as long as it's within calories. But there are some things I simply no longer buy such as bags of cookies or packages of donuts because I'll eat them all. :/ One of the few things I allow myself is an occasional pint of ice cream but only my favorite kind.

    Not knowing your likes/dislikes/capabilities as far as cooking, it's difficult to give you specific ideas but go with simple things you like. Salads can be so healthy and versatile, adding all kinds of veggies and proteins. Use lean thin sliced deli meats such as turkey. When I do make an omelet I use 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. Maybe google low salt salad dressings? I don't focus on salt a whole lot but tend to stay away from lots of canned items. I do use diet dressings and they're loaded. :(

    So many ideas out there, keep reading and you'll find a treasure trove of them. Good luck!!!
  • Hollis100
    Hollis100 Posts: 1,408 Member
    edited March 2022
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    That said, as someone that isn't able to reliably make food at home, I frequently order things - meals, canned stuff, fast food (bleh).

    Can anyone recommend food options for those in my position that can help reduce the amount of sodium I'm consuming? Definitely going to start leaning into the salads more, lighter dressings or less salty dressings, period but as much as I love salad, I know I'm going to want other things. Any suggestions?

    First, congrats for the decision to improve your health. I can sympathize with your post since I was diagnosed with hypertension, too. I'm a widow who HATES to cook, so for years I've been eating out, too, never paying attention to the sodium in the food.

    Decrease the sodium and increase potassium.

    As a non-cook who hates to cook, I recommend bags of frozen vegetables (don't laugh), like broccoli, carrots, watercress, and green beans -- no sodium, no added sugar, and it's about 100 calories for the whole bag. A low sodium/low sugar yogurt makes it a meal. The vegetables are low calorie and kill my hunger for hours.

    Google a list of food with potassium, like leafy green vegetables. Eat spinach salads and skip the dressing, or try the no-salt DASH seasoning, or lemon or lime juice.

    Beets are good -- beet juice is supposed to be good for hypertension.

    Editing this to add walnuts. We need healthy fats. I buy bags of shelled, no-salt walnuts and eat a few every day. Other nuts and avocado would work as well.

    Make your food at home. Meal prep several simple meals you like and freeze them.

    Good luck, hope some of this helps.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 3,053 Member
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    Good on you for responding to the wake up call. It sounds like you have a good plan, plus great ideas above. Specific to low sodium options, lots of fast food places have nutrition information including sodium online to help steer you to the lower sodium choices. More specific suggestions are hard not knowing what you like best. Having a plan with foods you know you like stocked up in your kitchen in the grab-and-go ready position will make the plan easier to stick to long term. IMHO, a plan is easier when it has stuff you genuinely enjoy and look forward to eating. Good job finding workout buddies as well.
  • anthonyloprimo
    anthonyloprimo Posts: 27 Member
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    So regarding cooking: I'm in a bit of an opposite situation - I love cooking, but I'm in a situation that is making me choose to not cook - living with family, headaches, etc... long story short, once I get my own place, I'm absolutely going to be going back to cooking.

    Ordering happens at home or at work - either through delivery services (Uber Eats, DoorDash), or directly calling the place (i.e. Pizzeria).

    When it comes to what I like to eat... I'm not picky. To put things in perspective, I was the "strange" kid growing up that loved broccoli. I even ate spinach (albeit creamed spinach, though nowadays I'll prefer spinach to lettuce in a salad/on a sandwich). I'll gladly eat a salad with bits of meat in there to mix it up, and I'll load it up with all sorts of vegetables (or "vegetables" like corn and tomato), so eating balanced with a salad isn't too bad either. It's just the repetition.

    I'll look into simple, quick meal prep options that require next to no cooking. The less time I spend in the kitchen, the better. It's really annoying and unfortunate that I have to do that, too. I really, really miss cooking, not going to lie. And with some of the people I've found on YouTube (love watching people like Joshua Weissman, Babish, Nick DiGiovanni, and so on), there is so much I want to make, and so much I want to find healthy versions to make.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,981 Member
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    [Snip]

    ...I'm also taking this as the kick in the pants I've needed to finally make bigger changes. I need to double-down on not eating so much. Stop halfway, see if I'm really hungry and if not, save what I eat for later. Simple as that.

    That said, as someone that isn't able to reliably make food at home, I frequently order things - meals, canned stuff, fast food (bleh).

    Can anyone recommend food options for those in my position that can help reduce the amount of sodium I'm consuming? Definitely going to start leaning into the salads more, lighter dressings or less salty dressings, period but as much as I love salad, I know I'm going to want other things. Any suggestions?

    Good for you!

    I can't really help you with the takeout as I love to cook. But, as someone who has occasionally not had much TIME to cook, I do have some suggestions:

    1. When I was single and had a consistently overwhelming work schedule I used to spend a few hours on Sundays and make four dinners, four lunches, and snacks. (On Fridays I would get takeout and lunch, immediately divide it in half, and have the rest for dinner.)

    2. More recently, and no longer single, when my workday would predictably run long on certain days I would plan to have breakfast food for dinner, generally some sort of egg, potato or bread, and pork. We'd precook a batch of bacon at a time, freeze it, and it would be ready after 30 seconds in the microwave.

    3. We eat a lot of entrée salads during grilling season. My partner grills, and I do the veggies, which, except for the lettuce and cucumber, are different for both of us. He likes hard boiled eggs and bacon on "power" salads with grilled chicken. I like apples and walnuts. We have different salad dressings. Despite all that, the meal comes together in about 10 minutes (after the grill heats up.) I'd give him enough chicken to grill so that there would be enough for another dinner.

    4. We also make burgers frequently. Mine are only 4 oz and I have it on a large salad with a different type of dressing than my salad with chicken. He has a bigger burger, on a bun, with cheese, and sometimes a leaf of lettuce, lol.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,981 Member
    edited March 2022
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    So regarding cooking: I'm in a bit of an opposite situation - I love cooking, but I'm in a situation that is making me choose to not cook - living with family, headaches, etc... long story short, once I get my own place, I'm absolutely going to be going back to cooking.

    Ordering happens at home or at work - either through delivery services (Uber Eats, DoorDash), or directly calling the place (i.e. Pizzeria).

    When it comes to what I like to eat... I'm not picky. To put things in perspective, I was the "strange" kid growing up that loved broccoli. I even ate spinach (albeit creamed spinach, though nowadays I'll prefer spinach to lettuce in a salad/on a sandwich). I'll gladly eat a salad with bits of meat in there to mix it up, and I'll load it up with all sorts of vegetables (or "vegetables" like corn and tomato), so eating balanced with a salad isn't too bad either. It's just the repetition.

    I'll look into simple, quick meal prep options that require next to no cooking. The less time I spend in the kitchen, the better. It's really annoying and unfortunate that I have to do that, too. I really, really miss cooking, not going to lie. And with some of the people I've found on YouTube (love watching people like Joshua Weissman, Babish, Nick DiGiovanni, and so on), there is so much I want to make, and so much I want to find healthy versions to make.

    Oh, just realized this post was also by you, the OP (original poster/person who started the thread.)

    Ugh, I can relate to family interfering with cooking. I have a bit of a situation now that will hopefully resolve quickly after a medication change but meanwhile there is a lot of tension and (figurative) headaches.

    I used to have housemates who got home FOUR HOURS BEFORE ME and still couldn't bother to clean up before I got home. I definitely made unhealthy choices at that time. Then I moved out and switched to scenario # 1 above.